Tag Archives: Houthi movement

UN Welcomes Houthi Move To Halt Attacks On Saudi Arabia

The U.N. envoy for Yemen says the Houthi rebels’ initiative to halt attacks on Saudi Arabia “could send a powerful message of the will to end the war” in Yemen.

Martin Griffiths’ comments Saturday came hours after the Houthi announcement, and a week after the rebels claimed a strike that crippled a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia.

Griffiths called for “taking advantage of this opportunity and moving forward with all necessary steps to reduce violence, military escalation and unhelpful rhetoric.”

Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen since 2015. That conflict has killed tens of thousands of people.

The U.S. and the Saudis blamed the Sept. 14 attack on Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels. Tehran denies any responsibility.

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/un-welcomes-houthi-move-to-halt-attacks-on-saudi-arabia/30176853.html

Drone Attacks By Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Set Saudi Oil facilities Ablaze

Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels set alight two major oil facilities run by the state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the Kingdom’s Interior Ministry said.

The Saudi Press Agency, citing a statement by the Ministry, said that the drones caused the fire at the refinery in the city of Abqaiq in the Kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province, as well as the blaze at the Khurais oil field, around 150 km from Riyadh.

Abqaiq is the location of the world’s largest oil processing plant, which handles two-thirds of Saudi oil production. Khurais contains the country’s second-largest oilfield.

The agency did not specify the type of drones involved or name the alleged perpetrator. The fires at both sites were brought under control and a probe was launched into the alleged attacks, reported the state media.

There was no immediate comment from Aramco or information about deaths or injuries. It was also unclear how the attacks would impact oil production.

On the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel, military spokesman Yahia Sarie said the Iran-aligned rebels had launched 10 drones in a coordinated attack on the oil facilities in response to the Saudi-led war against rebel areas in Yemen.

He said Saturday’s attack was “one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia” and was carried out in “co-operation with the honourable people inside the Kingdom”.

Multiple videos posted on social media earlier on Saturday showed an Aramco compound engulfed in flames and thick black smoke billowing from the site. In some videos, several loud bangs resembling the sound of explosions can be heard in the background.

Houthi fighters were blamed for drone attacks on the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility in August and on other oil facilities in May. The rebel movement is fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.

Yemen has been at war since 2015 when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia backs Hadi and has led a coalition of regional countries against the rebels.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming and directing the Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch drone and rocket attacks across the kingdom’s border.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/world-news-drone-attacks-strike-major-saudi-aramco-facility-oilfield/338618

Houthis Fail to Rally Attendees for Ashura Commemoration Events

Houthi coercion and violence failed to get residents in nine districts to partake in the Iran-backed group’s Ashura commemoration marches and festivals. Traditionally, Houthis use brute force to push citizens into attending their public events.

Local sources, speaking under the conditions of anonymity, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthis failed in establishing their sectarian festivals in more than nine militia-run districts in three Yemeni governorates: Dhamar, Ibb and Al-Mahwit.

Local observers considered that all activities held by Houthis are sectarian, inspired from Iran, and are completely foreign practices to the Yemeni people.

Confirming that the foreign practices are unfamiliar to Yemenis, observers said: “What is happening in areas controlled by the putschists are exotic customs and are derived from old Iranian traditions mixed with Christian traditions then presented as Islamic by Iran’s mullahs.”

Twelvers represent the majority of Muslims in Iran.

In turn, a source close to Houthi militias, who refused to be named for security reasons, revealed the group spent over one billion Yemeni riyals to commemorate Ashura in the capital Sanaa and other areas under its control.

The source pointed out that most of the money was spent on printing sectarian brochures and posters, large propaganda paintings, and for covering expenses for organizers and militiamen.

This astronomical spending comes at a time war-ravaged Yemenis face the threat of famine, spread of diseases and the exhaustion of public institutes.

The source added that the militia’s absurd squandering of public money was met with widespread resentment as Yemenis continued to refuse integrating foreign culture and ideology exported from Iran.

In a desperate move to try and rally attendees, Houthi gunmen threatened to cut off UN aid and basic commodities.

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1898851/houthis-fail-rally-attendees-ashura-commemoration-events

Coalition downs Saudi-bound Houthi drone

The Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen today morning intercepted and downed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia towards the city of Najran in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, reported.

The Spokesman for the Coalition, Colonel Turki Al Maliki, said the all drone attacks attempted by the terrorist militia are doomed to fail and that the coalition adheres to rules of engagement to prevent civilian casualties when responding to any threats.

Al Maliki re-affirmed the Coalition’s continued efforts to neutralise and destroy Houthi capabilities in accordance with the rules of customary international human rights and humanitarian law.

https://www.gulftoday.ae/news/2019/09/11/coalition-downs-saudi-bound-houthi-drone

Saudi-led coalition downs Houthis´ drone: Spokesman

Saudi-led coalition forces early Tuesday announced it downed a drone Houthi rebels in Yemen sent to the kingdom, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting a coalition forces spokesman.

The drone was intercepted over Sadah province in Yemen, according to the coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki.

Maliki went on to say coalition forces took every measure to protect civilians from the drone attacks.

Recently, the Houthis have been using ballistic missiles and drones to target southern Saudi Arabia but those efforts are usually intercepted by the kingdom’s air defence systems.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supported the country’s pro-Saudi government.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to UN estimates.

http://www.bernama.com/en/world/news.php?id=1765695

Death toll from prison attack rises to 156: Houthi

Death toll from Sunday’s airstrike by Saudi-led coalition on a prison in southwestern Yemen climbed to 156, Houthi rebel group said on Thursday.

The Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV cited the so-called Health Ministry of the Houthi administration as putting death toll at 156 after four days of recovering bodies from the debris.

It said 50 people were also injured in the airstrike.

On Tuesday, Houthi rebels said some 123 bodies had been recovered from the rubble of a prison in Dhamar city.

UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths has condemned the airstrike and called the incident a “tragedy”.

The Saudi-led coalition maintains prisoners holed up by Houthi rebels are used as human shields.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to UN estimates.

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/death-toll-from-prison-attack-rises-to-156-houthi-3499959

US reaches out to Houthis to end war as Saudi struggles

The United States says it has reached out to the Houthi Ansarullah movement to work out a way to the ongoing conflict in Yemen, where the Houthis have managed to push back against a deadly military aggression by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies for over four years.

David Schenker, the Assistant US Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, confirmed to reporters on Thursday that Washington had contacted the Houthis for the first time since the beginning of the Saudi-led war in March 2015.

“We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen,” Schenker said during a visit to the Prince Sultan Air Base near the Saudi city of al-Kharj, near Riyadh, the kingdom’s capital.

“We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually acceptable negotiated solution to the conflict,” he added.

The negotiations provides a direct channel between the Houthis and the administration of US President Donald Trump, who has remained a steadfast supporter of the Riyadh regime throughout its aggression against the impoverished southern neighbor.

Washington’s attempt to end the conflict comes as the Houthis, who Saudi commanders confidently said would be defeated in a matter of weeks, have not only defended their country but orchestrated a series of missile and drone attacks against various targets deep inside Saudi territories.

Schenker stopped short of providing more details on the nature of the talks to end the war, which has has claimed more than 91,000 lives, according to data by the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

‘Victory for Houthis’

Senior Houthi official Hamid Assem told AFP that while he could not confirm or deny Shencker’s remarks, the fact that Washington was asking the Houthis for help was a major victory for the Ansarullah movement.

“That the United States says they are talking to us is a great victory for us and proves that we are right,” he said.

The announcement by Shecker comes weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that Washington was preparing for direct talks with the Houthis through a team that would be led by Christopher Henzel, who became the Trump administration’s first ambassador to Yemen in April.

A State Department official said Thursday that “the US ambassador to Yemen and other US diplomats talk to all Yemenis to further US objectives in the country”.

The last time US officials engaged with the Houthis, former President Barack Obama was still in office. During the talks in June 2015, Washington tried to convince Houthis to attend UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva. Those talks and the following rounds of peace negotiations have failed to end the war.

‘Saudis in on US-Houthi talks’

Fatima Abo Alasrar, a scholar at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, said that talks with the Houthis were not taking place “in a vacuum” and were decided “most likely after consultations with the Saudis,” who have been looking for a way out of the war.

She noted that the Houthis have exposed the limits of Saudi Arabia’s military might by constantly targeting Saudi bases and strategic facilities.

“The Houthis have been sending a barrage of drones and ballistic missiles towards vital Saudi installations after a recent spike in US-Iran tensions,” Alasrar said.

“So the US appears to be intervening politically at this stage to assess all possible threats that can come from the region, and perhaps even issue its own threats if the Houthis will not comply,” she added.

Shencker said in al-Kharj that it was a “priority” for the US to intercept drones and missiles that both Washington and Riyadh claim are reaching the Houthis despite aerial and maritime blockade on the country.

Beside struggling to defeat the Houthis, Saudi Arabia also faces pressure within the ranks of its own campaign, where an alliance of mercenaries and various Yemeni separatist factions that was supposed to hit the Houthis is now on the verge of collapse due to intense infighting to take control over the key port city of Aden.

The conflict has seen forces of Yemen’s pro-Saudi former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi leave Aden, its interim capital.

In addition to the simmering tensions, the Saudi-led atrocities in Yemen have enraged the international community, prompting widespread calls on teh US, the UKL, France and other nations to stop providing the kingdom with weapons and intelligence.

Death toll from Saudi attack on Yemeni prison increases

In one of their latest crimes, Saudi-led aircraft targeted a prison in Dhamar, southwestern Yemen on Sunday.

Initial assessments put the number of the dead at least 100, however  Yemen’s Health Ministry put the death toll at 156 on Thursday.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/09/05/605446/US-Yemen-Houthis-Shencker-peace-talks-Saudi-war

Washington in talks with Iran-backed Yemeni rebels, US official says

Washington is in talks with Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in a bid to end the country’s war, a top US official said on Thursday, the first such contact in more than four years.

The negotiations open a direct channel between US President Donald Trump’s administration and the Houthis amid the threat of a broader regional conflict with Iran.

It also comes as the rebels have stepped up missile and drone attacks on neighboring Saudi Arabia, a key US ally which heads a military coalition against the Houthis.

“We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen,” US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told reporters during a visit to Al-Kharj air base near the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually acceptable negotiated solution to the conflict.”

Schenker gave no further details on the talks, which mark a renewed effort to end a complex conflict that has left tens of thousands dead and sparked what the United Nations labels the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Senior Houthi official Hamid Assem told AFP he could neither confirm nor deny the rebels were in talks with Washington.

“That the United States says they are talking to us is a great victory for us and proves that we are right,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Washington was preparing for direct talks with the rebels and that its negotiating team would be led by Christopher Henzel, who became the Trump administration’s first ambassador to Yemen in April.

A State Department official said Thursday that “the US ambassador to Yemen and other US diplomats talk to all Yemenis to further US objectives in the country.”

“We are focused on supporting a comprehensive political agreement that will end the conflict,” the official said.

‘Consultations with Saudis’

The Houthis seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa and much of the country’s north in 2014, sparking a Saudi-led military intervention the following March.

The feud has exposed simmering divisions within the anti-Houthi alliance that analysts say undermines their joint campaign against the Houthis.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/washington-in-talks-with-iran-backed-yemeni-rebels-us-official-says/

Saudi Arabia says Houthi drones ‘doomed to fail’ after foiled attack

Saudi Arabia intercepted a Houthi drone on Tuesday launched from Yemen’s Amran province towards the kingdom, the country’s state news agency said.

The Iranian-backed rebels have stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months.

“All drone attacks launched by the rebels towards the Kingdom are doomed to fail,” coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Malki said in a statement.

The coalition managed to destroyed the drone while it was still in Yemen’s airspace, the official said.

“We are taking all measures to prevent civilian casualties when responding to such threats,” Col Al Malki said.

Saudi Arabia is leading the Arab Coalition, which includes the UAE, has been fighting in Yemen on behalf of the internationally recognised government since 2015, after the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in 2014.

The repeated Houthi attacks demonstrate the “desperate measures” taken by the rebels, especially as they face extreme losses on the ground, Col Al Malki said.

Most of the attacks by the Iran-backed rebels were intercepted by Saudi air forces, but some have caused deaths and injuries, including two strikes on Abha airport in June and July.

“The coalition will continue to implement measures against the militias to halt its capabilities in accordance to international humanitarian law.”

Additionally, Col Al Malki denied reported that the coalition targeted a detention centre in Yemen’s southwestern province of Dhaamar on Sunday.

“The coalition had proof that the site targeted at Dhaamar was a Houthi military base,” Col Al Malki said in a statement.

Col Al Malki said the target hit a “military facility in accordance with international humanitarian law,” and that “all precautionary measures were taken to protect civilians”.

The site in Dhaamar was not registered with the United Nations and was not on the no-strike list, Col Al Malki said.

He said that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are working to de-escalate the situation in multiple regions around the country and are working to “restore the legitimacy of the government and security in Yemen.”

The violence committed by the rebels is complicating the UN’s peace effort to ease tensions between the government of Yemen and the rebels.

It undermines the UN’s attempts to put into effect a ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah, the main entry point for desperately needed food and medical supplies.

The truce, which was brokered in Sweden last December, was seen as a first step towards achieving a political resolution to the conflict.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/saudi-arabia-says-houthi-drones-doomed-to-fail-after-foiled-attack-1.905820

Yemeni workers search for bodies at prison hit by Arab coalition

Yemeni rescue workers searched for bodies amid concrete debris and twisted steel wreckage on Monday, two days after air strikes by a Saudi-led military coalition hit a prison complex killing more than 100 people.

Yemeni Red Crescent workers placed corpses in white bags while bulldozers and other heavy equipment moved through the rubble to try to retrieve bodies before decay set in at the site in Dhamar in southwest Yemen.

“I was next to the window when I heard the warplanes and then the bombing. I passed out and when I woke, the window and the wall were above my back,” said Assem Mohammed Ismail, one of the survivors treated in a hospital ward in Dhamar.

“When the rescuers came, I screamed from under the mountain.”

The final death toll is still unknown, but the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen said on Sunday after visiting the complex and hospitals that over 100 had been killed. On Monday, an ICRC spokeswoman said rescuers will need days to know how many were killed.

The Sunni Muslim coalition, which has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthis for over four years in Yemen, said it destroyed a site storing drones and missiles in Dhamar.

The military alliance said it had taken measures to protect civilians in the strike, and the assault complied with international law.

Over the last four years, the Saudi-led coalition has come under heavy criticism from international rights groups following air strikes that have killed scores of civilians in residential areas, and at markets, funerals and weddings.

“WE COMPLETELY PANICKED”

The Yemen Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said 52 detainees were among the dead, adding at least 68 detainees were still missing. The Houthi-controlled health ministry said 60 bodies were pulled from the rubble at the detention centre, which officials said housed 170 prisoners.

In Dhamar’s main hospital, empty and bloodstained white bags lay on the floor after workers stacked bodies in the morgue’s fridges.

Portraits of Houthi leaders and “martyrs” hung on the hospital walls and over the beds where wounded prisoners were treated.

“They started arriving after 1 a.m. and we completely panicked; Ambulances kept bringing in scores of wounded people,” said Majed al-Fadli, an aid worker at Dhamar’s hospital.

“Every 10 minutes there was an ambulance.”

The Western-backed alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis after they ousted the internationally recognized government in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014.

The movement, which controls most major Yemeni population centres, has stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months. The Saudi-led alliance has responded with strikes on Houthi areas.

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/yemeni-workers-search-for-bodies-at-prison-hit-by-arab-coalition-3499673